Jaime Alguersuari has thanked Michael Schumacher for giving him the race-craft knowledge that helped him earn his first Formula 1 points in Malaysia.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver took the first points of his career with a strong drive in Sepang on Sunday, and believes that it was the understanding he got from racing Schumacher wheel to wheel in Australia that helped him deliver this time out.
"Definitely," Alguersuari told AUTOSPORT when asked if the Schumacher lessons had helped him in Malaysia. "Michael showed me the way to drive a Formula 1 car on the limit, with other drivers. This was very important. To finish the Australian Grand Prix and to fight against him showed me the way – like how to be aggressive with other people.
"The race in Malaysia worked out like that with [Vitaly] Petrov and Nico [Hulkenberg]. They were amazing fights, both were clean, and that is the way to do it in Formula 1."
Alguersuari in particular thought that understanding the level of aggression necessary in the race was a key factor - especially when he was wheel-to-wheel with Nico Hulkenberg.
"At that moment, I was just thinking about the points. It was the same feeling I had with Michael when we both made contact," he said. "This is at the art of racing and it is very nice – but in the end you do it because you need the points. Today, it worked out for me."
Although delighted with his first points, Alguersuari thinks it may take until the second half of the year for him to finally start delivering much-improved performances.
"There is still a lot to come from my side," he said. "To know how the tires degrade, how the option and prime behave. You come to a new track, you do the qualifying and everything is different, very difficult.
"But I am really expecting a lot when I come to the European track and I go to the places I know because I will be able to show my performance at 100 percent. My knowledge of the car will be much higher, so I am expecting a lot for the second half of the season."
Full Q & A with Jamie Alguersuari